Quick little note on Lenovo server RAID

I was helping a friend this weekend with his new Lenovo server.  TS-430, nice basic server with decent engineering.

We discovered one “oopsie” in the ordering process that you might want to be aware of if you are ordering a Lenovo server online.  The server has a basic on-board RAID that your should bypass in favour of either the RAID 500 or RAID 700 options.  The 700 option is the equivalent of the Dell H710 (for those of you aware of Dell RAID offerings) and the 500 is probably the equivalent of the Dell H300 series.  All of these controllers are based on LSI MegaRAID designs.  Anyway, the thing to keep in mind is that Lenovo ships the 500 controller with limited abilities; it can only create RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 arrays.  If you want RAID 5 (as my friend wanted) you have to purchase an option key from Lenovo to enable the RAID 5 capability.  (As best I can tell, the 700 card does it all out of the box.)  He had not purchased the key so he was stuck with his build until he was able to purchase a key.

So, be aware of what you are ordering.  The RAID 5 key for the 500 card is about $115 CDN.  If you look at the cost differential between the 500 and 700 card’s, the differential AFTER the RAID 5 key cost is not a heck of a lot so you may as well just pop for the 700 right up front.  We use the Dell H710’s all the time and if the Lenovo 700 is close to it in spec I can guarantee you will be very happy with your choice.

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